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Advertising agency

Online Advertising

Advertising agency

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising (and sometimes other forms of promotion) for their clients. An ad agency is independent from the client and provides an outside point of view to the effort of selling the client's products or services. An agency can also handle overall marketing and branding strategies and sales promotions for its clients.

Typical ad agency clients include businesses and corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Agencies may be hired to produce single ads or, more commonly, ongoing series of related ads, called an advertising campaign.

Ad agencies come in all sizes, from small one- or two-person shops to large multi-national, multi-agency conglomerates such as Omnicom Group or WPP Group.

Some agencies specialize in particular types of advertising, such as print ads or television commercials. Other agencies, especially larger ones, produce work for many types of media (creating integrated marketing communications, or through-the-line (TTL) advertising). The "line", in this case, is the traditional marker between media that pay a (traditionally 15%) commission to the agency (mainly broadcast media) and the media that do not.

Lately, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firms have been classified by some as 'agencies' due to the fact that they are creating media and implementing media purchases of text based (or image based in some instances of search marketing) ads. This relatively young industry has been slow to adopt the term 'agency' however with the creation of ads (either text or image) and media purchases they do qualify technically as an 'advertising agency' as well as recent studies suggest that both SEO and SEM are set to outpace magazine spending in the next 3-5 years.

Not all advertising is created by agencies. Companies that create and plan their own advertising are said to do their work in house.

Agency personnel

The creative department -- the people who create the actual ads -- form the core of an advertising agency. Modern advertising agencies usually form their copywriters and art directors into creative teams. Creative teams may be permanent partnerships or formed on a project-by-project basis. The art director and copywriter report to a creative director, usually a creative employee with several years of experience. Although copywriters have the word "write" in their job title, and art directors have the word "art", one does not necessarily write the words and the other draw the pictures; they both generate creative ideas to represent the proposition (the advertisement or campaign's key message).

The other major department in ad agencies is account services or account management. Account service employees work directly with clients and potential clients, soliciting business for the ad agency and determining what clients need and want the agency to do for them. They are also charged with understanding the clients business situation and representing those needs within the agency, so that ads can be brought to bear on the correct problem.

Previously, client services employees wrote the advertising strategy that the creative director (and teams ) would use to create the advertising. However, since the late 1960's in the UK, and the mid-1980's in the US, specialist account planners have been tasked with doing this. The account planner was originally employed to "represent the consumer" in the advertising i.e. find the best way to pitch the clients products to people but better understanding them, what they want and how to talk to them. Planning's role has expanded considerably since it was originally introduced. Pleanners now brand strategists and, to a certain extent, media strategists - using consumer insights to understand where and how people are most receptive to certain messages.

The creative services department may not be so well known, but its employees are the people who have contacts with the suppliers of various creative media. For example, they will be able to advise upon and negotiate with printers if an agency is producing flyers for a client. However, when dealing with the major media (broadcast media, outdoor, and the press), this work is usually outsourced to a media agency which can advise on media planning and is normally large enough to negotiate prices down further than a single agency or client can.

In small agencies, employees may do both creative and account service work. Larger agencies attract people who specialize in one or the other, and indeed include a number of people in specialized positions: production work, [Internet] advertising, or research, for example.

An often forgotten, but extremely important, department within an advertising agency is traffic. Typically headed by a traffic manager (or system administrator), this department is responsible for a number of things. First and foremost is increasing agency efficiency and profitability through the reduction of false job starts, inappropriate job initiation, incomplete information sharing, over- and under-cost estimation, and the need for media extensions. In small agencies without a dedicated traffic manager, one employee may be responsible for managing workflow, gathering cost estimates and answering the phone, for example. Large agencies may have a traffic department of ten or more employees. Department size varies, but its importance remains the same.

Famous advertising agencies

BBDO -- works with Anheuser-Busch, Visa, and PepsiCo.
Crispin Porter + Bogusky --famous for Subservient Chicken, works with Burger King, EarthLink, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Volkswagen
Doyle Dane Bernbach -- created famous campaigns for Volkswagen (including the famous "Lemon" ad) and Avis Rental Cars ("We're number 2. We try harder.")
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners -- famous for the "Got Milk?" campaign, among others
JWT (formerly J. Walter. Thompson) -- works with Kelloggs, Unilever, Diageo.
The Martin Agency -- UPS, GEICO, NASCAR, Miller (Lite, MGD), Hanes, and others
N.W. Ayer & Son -- the first ad agency in the United States, coined "When it rains it pours" (Morton Salt), "A diamond is forever" (De Beers), "Reach out and touch someone" (AT&T), "Be all you can be" (United States Army), and others
Ogilvy & Mather -- famous for the Rolls-Royce print ad with the headline "At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock", among other ads
Saatchi and Saatchi -- most famous for working with the Conservative Party especially during the 1979 general election (Maurice and Charles Saatchi later left and set-up M&C Saatchi)
TBWA\Chiat\Day -- works with Apple Computer (including the "Think Different" campaign) and adidas. Responsible for creating the fcuk brand and (in the UK) Wonderbra advertising.
Partnership Advertising -- responsible for developing the "loading cancer" ad that won the 2003 New York Festivals Finalists

Largest Advertising Groups

According to the Research Company Evaluating the Media Agency Industry, the 2004 top 6 largest advertising groups ranked by worldwide billings were the following:

WPP Group: $48.055 Billion
Publicis: $34.365 Billion
Interpublic: $27.870 Billion
Omnicom Group: $25.230 Billion
Aegis Group: $20.355 Billion
Havas: $8.775 Billion

External links

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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